April 8, 2022

Trend Spotting with StephaniesDish: Vintage Tableware

Everything Old is new again.

Retail tabletop and serving ware items have been a trend in hospitality for years, but now the desire to break out of the “big white dinner plate” rut has taken a new turn. Floral “granny” plates, vintage flatware, and glassware have become a trend at swanky urban eateries, according to the Washington Post.  Here in Minneapolis, have you noticed how more restaurants have been using vintage, grandmother-style plates? If you have eaten at Myriel in St Paul or dined with Jaimie Malone or even fancied the earthenware pottery plates seen at Young Joni these vintage dishes are making a comeback.  The big white plate that debuted in the 80’s is now making way for more vintage styles that can be found by shopping at any of the 48 Goodwill Stores.

Is grandma’s porcelain too old-fashioned to be used at your dinner table? On the contrary, it has never been so on-trend. Stylish tables everywhere are setting out sets in porcelain, earthenware with delicate patterns or painted with petals and gold leaf edges and we can’t get enough and coming through the Goodwill stores it’s amazing the trends you can find.

Here are some on-trend tableware examples to look for at Goodwill:

“Granny Plates” Any type of vintage china or petaled or gold leaf plates at the Goodwill will set a beautiful table. Seating for 6 and can only find three plates in a set? Consider using a plain design for the other three settings in a complimentary color and mix and matching. Plain 80’s white plates are useful and can be really pretty with vintage salad plates on top in the colors of the season like pastels for spring or darker patterns for cool weather.

Pyrex is very hot. Butterfly Gold, Dots, Early American, Snowflake, or Woodland patterns (see below) are all very collectible. Pyrex bowls at Goodwill can usually be had for $9.99 or less depending on the pattern. Pyrex is always a find and super useful in the kitchen.

Fiesta Ware shows up at the Goodwill stores quite regularly. From the time of introduction through the early 1970s, Fiesta was made in 14 different colors for the regular lines. Of all the original Fiesta colors, medium green is often considered the most expensive and the hardest to locate in a wide variety of different pieces. Red is the most controversial with unfounded reports of it being radioactive and unsafe to use for food consumption due to its high lead content. Any Fiesta Ware is highly collectible.

Jane Ray seafoam green plates and glassware (Jadeite) is one of Anchor Hocking’s longest-running dinnerware lines. It was made from 1945 through 1963. About 20 years ago, this pattern was plentiful. Antique stores held stacks and stacks of it for reasonable prices. When Martha Stewart featured it on her television show and in her magazine all that changed; for quite some time prices were high, and Jane Ray was harder to come by. Prices have moderated for the most part now, with many pieces selling in the $5 to $15 range. Bowls are harder to come by and can cost considerably more, however. 

Milk Glass is always popular, and you can find lots of it mostly in white but also in pastel green and a few other pastel colors that are made more recently.

Dansk is something that I rarely see at Goodwill but when I do I snatch it up. This danish enamelware that comes in beautiful bright glossy colors is designed so well. The pieces are excellent to use in the kitchen for cooking and serving but also beautiful to look at and highly functional.

Don’t forget the glassware. Goodwill is busting at the seams with cool vintage champagne cups, high and low ball glasses, and teacups and saucers for any tea party or to be used for a soup course as soup cups. Consider mixing colors and styles at the table with contrasting water and wine glasses.

Strawberry Daquiri

Whether you like frilly florals or Mid-Century styles, imagine setting a table in your kitchen or dining room with those dishes. Then you can go with a pattern you’ll really love to use and share with others on a skillfully decorated table.